Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

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When we seek spiritual guidance, we usually do so from one of two states of mind. We’re either seeking spiritual wisdom to implement a plan of action, or we’re clueless about our current state of affairs, and we’re asking God for ideas. In either case, it’s a good practice to remind ourselves that all things are unfolding in divine order.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that if we don’t affirm divine order, chaos will ensue? Does God need our reminder to initiate the highest process of order to ensure the best, most successful outcome?

It’s been said that we don’t affirm a thing to make it true; we affirm it because it is true. The declaration that, My life is now unfolding in divine order is a statement that aligns our understanding, our expectations, with the truth that that which is best and highest for the expression of our soul, is now taking place. Whether we’re in the process of pursuing a dream, or we feel completely lost, adrift in a sea of uncertainty, we experience the peace of knowing that all is well.

Though this may not seem to be true, the feeling of being lost is foreign to the soul. It’s the self-image that experiences the opposites of certainty and uncertainty. The soul is grounded in the Infinite. Our spiritual core never becomes lost in the weeds of circumstance. Nor is the soul’s worth based on our successes and failures.

The self-image tends to read its ever-changing circumstances like tea leaves. We hope that the patterns left by the grounds in the bottom of our cup will give us some indication of what we should do. The problem here is that we will read into appearances exactly what we want to see. We’re like dooms-day advocate that sees that latest volcanic eruption, hurricane, political scandal, or violent outbreak in the Middle East as the signs that the end is near.

When you affirm divine order, do so with a deep feeling of certainty that your soul’s purpose is now being fulfilled. Pursue your plans and move through your circumstances with the understanding that all things are working together for your highest good, and for the highest good of all. In those moments of uncertainty, turn your attention away from circumstances and re-establish your faith in the truth that your life is now unfolding in divine order.

 

Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

Click for audio: Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

When we seek spiritual guidance, we usually do so from one of two states of mind. We’re either seeking spiritual wisdom to implement a plan of action, or we’re clueless about our current state of affairs, and we’re asking God for ideas. In either case, it’s a good practice to remind ourselves that all things are unfolding in divine order.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that if we don’t affirm divine order, chaos will ensue? Does God need our reminder to initiate the highest process of order to ensure the best, most successful outcome?

It’s been said that we don’t affirm a thing to make it true; we affirm it because it is true. The declaration that, My life is now unfolding in divine order is a statement that aligns our understanding, our expectations, with the truth that that which is best and highest for the expression of our soul, is now taking place. Whether we’re in the process of pursuing a dream, or we feel completely lost, adrift in a sea of uncertainty, we experience the peace of knowing that all is well.

Though this may not seem to be true, the feeling of being lost is foreign to the soul. It’s the self-image that experiences the opposites of certainty and uncertainty. The soul is grounded in the Infinite. Our spiritual core never becomes lost in the weeds of circumstance. Nor is the soul’s worth based on our successes and failures.

The self-image tends to read its ever-changing circumstances like tea leaves. We hope that the patterns left by the grounds in the bottom of our cup will give us some indication of what we should do. The problem here is that we will read into appearances exactly what we want to see. We’re like dooms-day advocate that sees that latest volcanic eruption, hurricane, political scandal, or violent outbreak in the Middle East as the signs that the end is near.

When you affirm divine order, do so with a deep feeling of certainty that your soul’s purpose is now being fulfilled. Pursue your plans and move through your circumstances with the understanding that all things are working together for your highest good, and for the highest good of all. In those moments of uncertainty, turn your attention away from circumstances and re-establish your faith in the truth that your life is now unfolding in divine order.

 

The Body is a Choice

[excerpt from, The Complete Soul]

I want to close this chapter by sharing a few thoughts on the idea that we incarnated by choice, that we did so with the full understanding of the limitations and drawbacks involved. By this, I do not mean we knew we would have abusive parents, for example, or that we would suffer some handicap, or that we chose these or other issues for the lessons our soul needed. I realize some people draw comfort, even closure from this idea. Like many in my profession, I once embraced this theory as a way of helping others make sense of difficult experiences. Now I see this as an unnecessary spin-off of the evolutionary model. The idea of the complete soul offers a more spiritually productive, logical, and fulfilling perspective. From this starting point, logic dictates that further incarnations, with whatever experiences they hold, will not make the soul more complete. A full pail, after all, can hold no more water.

Someone will ask, if our soul did not come for the lessons life has to offer, then why would we go to the trouble of incarnating? I’ve given this question a lot of thought over the years, and I believe the answer is a lot less complicated than the evolving soul model allows. For reasons of our choosing, we came simply because we wanted to be here. Getting here meant we needed a vehicle, a way to bring our soul from the spiritual to the material plane. The most efficient way of doing this is through a body.

Saying the body is the most efficient way of bringing the soul into expression doesn’t mean that our experience of incarnating has been perfect. Stepping into the body vehicle made us susceptible to rough roads and all kinds of foul weather, so much so that the bulk of our attention has gone to the maintenance needs of the body vehicle and its journey, while the soul, in a sense, remains nearly unnoticed in the cargo hold.

A major pitfall of the evolving soul model is that it makes the spiritual experience about the vehicle, its journey, and the belief that we will one day arrive at some special destination on this earthly sojourn. The truth is we have arrived. We’ve been so busy looking for specific conditions on this planet that we have forgotten that earth itself is our destination. We didn’t come to experience life from the cab of this delivery truck, driving endlessly from one place to another, looking for the right location to offload and unpack our cargo. We came here to experience life from our soul, right here and right now, using this body vehicle as our means of being here.

I said earlier that we are here for reasons of our choosing. We may doubt this because, unlike picking last year’s vacation spot, we have no clear memory of making such a decision. This memory is there, however, embedded in those things that truly interest and come most natural to us. These things do not boost our egos, advance our positions, or make us feel powerful. These are the things we quietly and reverently give our time and attention to without pay, persuasion, or recognition.

I see in the process of writing books some useful parallels that may help shed light on our reasons for incarnating. People write books for all kinds of reasons. Some write for sheer entertainment, others for educational purposes. Still others combine education with entertainment. I write because I want to share ideas that I think are important and will be of value to my readers. Sharing these ideas requires a way of doing that and the book is my vehicle of choice. Writing a book is fraught with challenges. It involves embodying inspired ideas in words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters that create a cohesive presentation one can read on a bus.

In the beginning of this section, I said we incarnated by choice, and that we did so with the full understanding of the limitations and drawbacks involved. I say this in the context similar to that of writing a book. When I made the decision to undertake this project, I knew from previous experience the nature of the challenges involved. Ideas often come in a flash and I can jot them down with relative ease. Including them in the context of a book is another matter. This can take hours, days, weeks, even months to accomplish. I have spent days working on a single paragraph only to delete it later. What comes quite easy on one level, is not so easy to express on another.

If we think of the soul as a set of ideas and the body as the book (our means of literally publishing the soul to the world), then we see the challenges we encounter in this incarnating/publishing process have little if anything to do with the soul itself. The ideas I want to convey through a book are largely unaffected by my struggle to convey them.

It is our associations of soul with body (our body-based self-image) that make our body-oriented challenges feel so personal. We mistakenly associate these challenges with the condition of our soul, but a clear understanding of the difference spares us this unneeded stress. Having great ideas is not the same as having the ability to put them in writing. This is where the work comes in.

If, as I have suggested, you were unfortunate enough to have had the experience of abusive parents, you may have made the mistake of interpreting this situation as something your soul needed to learn from these people. Dysfunctional, abusive people have little or nothing to teach our soul. Assigning them the role of teacher is often an attempt to put a positive spin on destructive behavior we struggle to forgive, a willingness to blame ourselves so we can let them off the hook and move on. Genuine forgiveness, however, has nothing to do with making peace with the actions of another. Forgiveness occurs when we touch our own wholeness and realize that the power and soul integrity we thought they took from us has remained with us all along. They may indeed provide the catalyst that causes us to look deeper into our soul, but what we find is nothing they brought. Nor does their negative influence have the power to detract from our real purpose for incarnating. We did not need their negativity to enrich or advance our soul. If we are giving people and various conditions this kind of power, we ourselves are obscuring our purpose for incarnating. We’re experiencing writer’s block, so to speak, staring blankly out the window, hung up on some writing issue, while our book goes unpublished.

The specific issues we encountered by taking on a body were, in all likelihood, unknown to us. Our soul did not choose them for the growth opportunities they might offer. On the other hand, fully aware of our soul’s completeness, we understood there would indeed be challenges associated with temporarily tethering this vast, nonlocalized essence we call our soul to a vehicle subject to the restrictive laws of time, space, and gravity. We are not here to work our way through the school of soul development, or to pay some karmic debt. We have incarnated for reasons similar to those I have agreed to take on when writing books: I do it because I want to. You and I are here because we made the choice to be here.

Spiritual Guidance, a deeper look

I would like to talk about spiritual guidance. And I would like to talk about it from a perspective that Jesus gave us, that I think is very interesting.

He said, If you had a child who asked you for bread, you wouldn’t give him a stone. If he asked you for a fish, you wouldn’t give him a serpent. When we ask for spiritual guidance, do we think that God might give us a serpent or a stone? Should we think of something less? Or should we think that when we ask for guidance, we’re actually getting it? Is that a revolutionary idea?

When we ask for guidance,  we put something in motion. The first thing we put in motion is our expectation. Our expectation is extremely important because, if we don’t expect something, we’re not going to be able to see when it does occur.

When it does occur, it goes right past us. So, we don’t see it.

When we ask for something, we are to expect that we have received it. This is the principle of prayer. If we don’t expect to receive it, why would we? How could we see it? How could we know that it is unfolding through us?

If we expect to see it, then we will look at every situation, every person, place and thing, every situation that is unfolding in front of us right now. We’ll look at that and think, and understand that spiritual guidance is actually happening. The things that we think should occur, don’t always. The things that do occur, do occur. It’s happening now. Maybe they’re not like we expect. Is that wrong? Is our prayer not answered because things don’t unfold as we expect they should?

That’s the self-image. That’s the part of us that tries to manipulate, the mind of God.

How can we manipulate the mind of God? How could we think we could possibly, intellectually, grasp all the possibilities that might be unfolding through us right now? We can’t see them because we’re so focused on certain ideas. We think, This is how it’s gotta be. We think this is the only thing to happen to make me, or to make me free.

But the Infinite is truly… infinite. The Infinite sees all possibilities. We see what is in front of our eyes, and we hear what is in front of our ears. We don’t know, what is possible. And so we say this is what has to happen. I have to have this happen to make it … right. This has to happen to be the answer that I’m seeking.

Sometimes things unfold in ways that are totally opposite of what we’re thinking. We’re looking for the answer in one way, and it comes in some entirely different way.

Haven’t you ever experienced this? You’re looking for an answer in one way, but it comes in a different way. This has happened to me so many times, I’ve lost count.

Spiritual guidance doesn’t come necessarily as a message. It comes as the events in our life.

We say, “Well, this is not the event I’m looking for. So I must not be guided. This must not be true, this must not be real. This must be something other than an answer.”

How many times has this happened? It happens all the time. We’re looking for one thing and it comes in a different form, but we don’t recognize it, because we’re not prepared to recognize it.

Paul said that all things work together for good for those who love God. He didn’t mean that, because we love God, God is going to do special favors for us. What he meant is if we recognize that there is a higher intelligence working through us now, and always … when we acknowledge the guidance of God, then everything begins to fall in place.

We’re not just randomly floating through space. We’re not here on this planet randomly. God is helping us out. Every one of us. It’s very easy to lose sight of this truth. Very easy. It’s very easy to look out at appearances and to see and to listen to things around us, and think that they are working in ways that are not for our highest good.

But we’re probably wrong. We’re expecting one thing, but we’re getting something else. We don’t always know what we need. We don’t always know what is best for us. We don’t know what is best and highest for us.

We think we know, because we’re looking at it from the level of the self-image, this thing that we have created that we call “I”, we call “me”.  We put it on this planet, we’ve dropped into this world, and we’ve tried to force the world to make it work for this self-perception. But it doesn’t work that way.

Spiritual guidance is something we never lose. It doesn’t go away. It’s not here today and gone tomorrow. It’s always with us. And whether we accept it or not, it is happening.

We get very lost. We get feeling like we are very lost and we are off on some thing that makes us feel like we’re from, maybe another planet.

We’re not. We’re not from another planet. There’s no planet that would rather have us than earth. And we’re here. We made it. This is probably the fulfillment of some very beautiful dream. We’re here.

We’re asking for guidance because we’ve forgotten why we came here. We’ve allowed ourselves to forget.

That’s not a bad thing. Our job is to remember.

You say you can’t remember. I can’t remember either. So I hope you’re in good company.

Our purpose on this planet, is to be who we are. You’ve heard this a million times, and it probably means absolutely nothing at this point. But all of this will pass. Everything you see. All that you think you are … is going to pass. What’s going to be left is the you, that you know you are.

You’ve never been without spiritual guidance. You’ve never been wandering in a far country. Your self-image has, your ego has, but you have not. You have never been without the guidance of God. Never. Ever. It can’t happen. Because you are an expression of the Infinite. You can’t get out of God.

This very moment, you are totally connected with God. Do you think God has abandoned you? Is that possible? It’s not.

You are an expression of God. Your soul is an expression of God. You’re created in the image and after the likeness of God. This is a biblical statement you’ve heard so many times, you will probably discount it. You may have forgotten what it really means. Most of us have. This writer, this Hebrew writer, so many thousands of years ago, got who you are. He got who I am. The image and likeness of God is not this body, this flesh and blood entity. This is not going to regenerate and live eternally. It’s not going to be here forever. Someday this body is going to die, this person that you see in the mirror is not going to be here anymore. But I will always be here. The I that I am, whoever I am, in whatever form I may take, I will always be here.

So, I pray for guidance. I’ve got some issue in my life. I don’t know how to resolve it. I need help. God help me. How big of an issue is this, in terms of our cosmic reality? It’s not very big. How many of these have we had? How many times have we been so backed in a corner that we don’t know what to do, with ourselves, with our life, with our situation? Totally lost. We need answers.

And if those answers don’t come, what happens? The universe stops spinning! Really?

So far, no problem I have had ever stopped the universe from spinning. It’s threatened to. But it’s actually never worked. I thought it would. I thought that if the issue I was involved in wasn’t resolved, that I life would come to an end. Not only my life, but the whole universe was going to come to an end. It never happened.

What am I looking for with spiritual guidance? I’m looking for a solution to some issue that is here today, right now. It’ll be gone tomorrow. Or the next day. Or maybe, it’ll take a week. But I know it’s going to be gone. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be gone now, but I know it will be.

All things are working together for my highest good. That what Paul thought. For those who love God, all things work together for the highest good. This doesn’t mean that God is doing special favors for us. To love God is simply to acknowledge, that we’re expressions of God, that what we are is God being God, as us.

We’re not a drop of water from the ocean. As Rumi said, we’re the ocean expressing as a drop of water. A very different perception. It’s the holographic universe, the whole contained in each part. All that God is, is expressed through me. Is this part of God that I am, ever been lost? I don’t think so.

 

 

Spiritual Guidance

Audio: full talk: Spiritual Guidance

Video synopsis: Spiritual Guidance

“Is there a man among you who will offer his son a stone when he asks for bread, or a snake when he asks for fish? If you, then, bad as you are, know how to give your children what is good for them, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).

If we apply this logic of Jesus to the notion of spiritual guidance, we can know that our need and request for guidance is being fulfilled at this very moment. This is true even when it appears we’re being given a stone rather than bread, or a snake rather than a fish.

Stones and snakes are not really stones and snakes. They are more likely answers to our prayer for guidance. They just don’t look like the bread and fish that we’re expecting. When we ask God for guidance, we are to believe that we have received the guidance we seek. This means that everything we do, everyone we encounter, every new unfolding circumstance is part of the solution to our desire for guidance.

In some cases, our circumstances may take an unexpected turn that seems to have no relevance to the greater good we seek. But Jesus also cautioned against judging by appearances. This is good advice, because intellectually, there is no way we can have all the facts about unfolding events. Neither will we fully encompass all the possible scenarios that can present themselves. While we’re looking in one direction, our answer can sneak up behind us.

Think of how many times this has happened. You get something fixed in your mind, but the actual solution unfolds in a very different way. What may look like failure or a misstep from one angle, turns out to be the exact right thing for the whole picture.

Paul reminded us that all things work together for good for those that love God. We can reframe this thought to all things are working together for our highest good, as we trust that God’s guiding wisdom is fully in play, right now. Our every step is the right step, our every move, the right move.

Hold this thought. Know this truth. At this very moment, God is guiding you to the highest and best solution to your need.

 

Spirituality and Fatherhood

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“Do not call any man on earth “father”; for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9).

While this saying of Jesus may appear to reduce the role of fatherhood to irrelevant, it’s really a call to understand who and what we are as spiritual beings. Bodily incarnation obviously requires a father and a mother, even if neither actually stay around to raise their offspring. We all have an earthly father.

What Jesus is implying is that souls do not give birth to souls. Our bodies are the physical offspring of our parents, but our soul predates them both. Our parents provided the door through which our soul entered this earthly plane. Jesus is reminding his followers (and us) that the source of their being is not found among their ancestors, but rises from the eternal spring of infinite life.

When we tie our identity to our biological heritage, we tend to limit the way we think of ourselves. What if you realized you have had many incarnations, thus, many parents? And what if you realized that you have also been the parent of more children than you care to count? I’m referring here, of course, to the idea of reincarnation, which you may or may not believe is possible. If the source of our being is truly one heavenly Father, however, then the birth and death of a single body becomes incidental. What appears obvious and fixed in relationships, is suddenly not so obvious and fixed.

We can also look at Jesus’ statement in a slightly different way. We consider the intuitive side of our being the feminine. The intellectual side is the masculine. Jesus can be saying that that self of us that is born of the intellect–the self-image–is not to be thought of as our true identity. The soul, our heavenly Father, is our real Self. That part of us that is fathered by the intellect is tied to the body and subject to environmental whims. The soul is indestructible. Approaching our life experiences from the soul level gives us the advantage of retaining our center of power, for we see from a much larger context. Of any negative appearance, we know that it shall pass, and we will come out fine.

Jesus sometimes had a strange way of saying things, but a little consideration of his words can open some interesting doors.